Proofpoint Extends Data Protection To Box File-Sharing Cloud

Data protection vendor Proofpoint is using this week's RSA Conference 2012 to announce it is partnering with the cloud-based file-sharing site Box.com to extend data protection to users of the popular service. Proofpoint already provides data protection as a service for a customer's e-mail, Web and social media communications to prevent sensitive customer or company data from being exposed. Just like social media, employees are choosing themselves to use file-sharing sites to get their work done

February 28, 2012

3 Min Read
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Data protection vendor Proofpoint is using this week's RSA Conference 2012 to announce it is partnering with the cloud-based file-sharing site Box.com to extend data protection to users of the popular service. Proofpoint already provides data protection as a service for a customer's e-mail, Web and social media communications to prevent sensitive customer or company data from being exposed. Just like social media, employees are choosing themselves to use file-sharing sites to get their work done, and IT managers need to adapt, a Proofpoint executive says.

The company will also be demonstrating at the San Francisco RSA event its data loss prevention offering, Proofpoint Enterprise Privacy, and its integration with a new governance service, Proofpoint Enterprise Governance, which was introduced last month following Proofpoint's acquisition of the content management firm NextPage.

Proofpoint sees the integration with Box as being important because while file-sharing sites are increasingly popular, companies need to better secure their content as it travels through this new communications channel, says Andrs Kohn, VP of technology for Proofpoint.

"It's easy to deploy and easy to manage," he says, of Box, "but it's lacking the security compliance and control that we need to ensure that what our employees are doing is being done within the right parameters."

Box does tout on its Web site it's security to protect user content in the cloud.

When adopting a cloud service, whether it's software as a service or platform as a service, enterprise IT organizations frequently make the assumption that the provider's security will be an improvement over the security of their own on-premise systems, according to a new InformationWeek report, Fundamentals: Cloud vs. In-House IT: Spend Smart in 2012. Verifying that this is true, however, is tricky, and, in the end, there are no guarantees.

Proofpoint has been recognized by the research firm Gartner for one aspect of its business, being placed in the Leaders Quadrant for its secure e-mail gateways offering. The report, published in August of 2011, places Proofpoint in the same quadrant as its much better-known competitors, Cisco, Google, McAfee, Microsoft and Symantec.

"Proofpoint continues to lead the market with innovative features and a broad range of e-mail solutions, including archiving, e-discovery, large file transfer and mailbox hosting," Gartner stated in its Magic Quadrant report. "Its Web-based management interface is one of the best in this market."

But Gartner cautioned that Proofpoint's emphasis on its secure e-mail gateway offering may limit its appeal compared to its larger competitors that have a wider array of security technology.

"Proofpoint continues to have a smaller market and mind share, compared with early market competitors. Proofpoint needs to improve its delivery through the channel, rather than its dedicated sales force," the report noted.

The Proofpoint Enterprise Privacy security-as-a-service (SaaS) offering helps companies make sure they protect the privacy of customers and of company intellectual property. Because it's a SaaS offering, Proofpoint constantly updates its service as regulations change, says Kohn. He cites the example of the announcement from the White House Feb. 23 of a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, which may require businesses to adopt new practices to protect privacy.

The Proofpoint Enterprise Governance, meanwhile, helps organizations track, classify and apply policy to all the content it creates, no matter where it lives -- on-premise, at a branch office or in the cloud.

"When it saves a document for the first time, it creates a fingerprint and a classification to that document and then when it is edited or sent in an e-mail, we track that document throughout its lifecycle," Kohn says. "Then organizations are easily able to put in place retention policies, destruction policies and understand what's going on without having to impact the user's work style at all."

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